Michelle Obama just had a full circle moment: In the unveiling of her White House portrait, the former FLOTUS is featured in a gown by Jason Wu, who made both of her dresses for her husband Barack Obama’s inaugural celebrations.
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden invited Michelle and Barack Obama back to the White House to see the reveal of their official portraits.
The occasion marked Michelle’s first visit to1600 Pennsylvania Avenue since her husband left office in 2017. This event marks Barack’s second time visiting the White House — earlier this year, he attended a ceremony there to mark 12 years of Obamacare.
The former first lady’s painting was done by artist Sharon Sprung and depicted her seated on a sofa in the Red Room. The art also showcased Michelle in the light blue, off-the-shoulder Wu gown.
Michelle previously wore two of Wu’s pieces at both of her husband’s Inaugural Balls, which were held to celebrate his new terms as President of the United States.
For the occasion in 2009, she wore a white gown that had flowers and Swarovski crystal embellished on it. She then opted for a bright red gown with a criss-cross halter neckline, while attending the ball in 2013. Both of these outfits have been on display at The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History’s exhibit titled, “The First Ladies.”
During her final appearance at the White House in 2017 for former US President Donald Trump’s inauguration, Michelle wore another one of Wu’s outfits — a red coat dress.
On Twitter on Wednesday, multiple fans praised the book’s author portrait and the blue Wu gown.
“I loved watching the unveiling,” one wrote. “I loved the dress @MichelleObama wore that perfectly complemented her portrait.”
“I love your White House portrait, and the gown is perfect, you have preserved your strong bare arms and shoulders for the perpetuity of our country- I see you, and I love the statement!,” another wrote.
Regarding what it was like to capture Michelle, Sprung spoke to the White House Historical Association’s Stewart McLaurin for a podcast and revealed that she initially planned to show the former First Lady standing, in order to give the portrait “a certain dignity”.
“But she doesn’t need dignity. She has so much dignity that I decided to do it sitting,” Sprung explained, adding that the choice also came from the fact that Michelle was much taller than her.
In her husband’s portrait, created by artist Robert McCurdy, he was depicted in a grey tie and black suit, which had an American Flag pin on it, while he stood against at white backdrop. Barack’s portrait will most likely be displayed in the Grand Foyer of the White House, along with the portraits of former US presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush.